Just as Ohio is in the process of a phased in reopening, we too are working on a plan to gradually bring students back in-house to West Chester Academy. We are excited and thankful to see that things are beginning to open up everywhere.This communication is intended to provide an overview of the careful and thorough planning that is going into our return to in-person classes. Please stay tuned to your program specific guidelines and expectations the week prior to your targeted return date as seen below.
The Ohio Department of Health has laid out a Responsible RestartOhio plan that may be accessed on the coronavirus.ohio.gov website. In addition to Responsible Protocols for getting Ohio back to work, they have laid out “sector specific operating requirements” which include areas that apply to WCA: gyms, dance instruction studios, and day camps.
Although these guidelines allow us to open all activities at once, we are taking a conservative, phased in approach. Here are West Chester Academy’s targeted return dates for our programs:
We understand that some students may prefer to continue Zoom lessons, Please contact us via email (email@example.com) if your preference is to maintain your lesson online.
The health and safety of WCA members and staff is of utmost importance! For that reason, we have established detailed plans and protocols that will provide a considerable measure of safety and security for teachers and students above and beyond those outlined by the Ohio Department of Health. We believe that these measures, in addition to a gradual re-opening, are the right thing to do under the current circumstances.
When you return to the Academy, the following new systems and protocols will be in place:
While we have loved the opportunity to continue to interact with our students through Zoom over the past 8 weeks, we are very excited about meeting together again in person. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we come back together and add back some normalcy to our routines.
Dance Update 5/06/20:
We know that you have been eagerly awaiting a more detailed description of “Recitals Reimagined,” and so, this update is dedicated to communicating with you all current recital information.
As you are all aware, prior to the March shut-down, we had an exciting calendar of events in place for all things dance as we progressed toward recitals. Some of the highlights included: distribution of costumes, class recommendations for next year, and of course, the June recital! Then Covid-19 forced a quick shut-down and evaluation of all activities, we transitioned our classes to an online platform, and ever since, we have anxiously awaited and carefully monitored Ohio’s press releases and guidelines to determine our next steps. It has been difficult for everyone to be in a holding pattern, however, we are now seeing signs of things slowly beginning to open up.
What about the early June Recital since Ohio is still in various phases of shut-down?
We have diligently and continuously been weighing options, exploring possibilities, and thinking creatively since this shut-down began. We remain committed to giving our dance students the opportunity to perform on stage and in costume! In speaking with the school venue for our recitals, they have offered to reschedule our dates from the first weekend in June to July 17-18, giving an extra 6 weeks for our state and community to open back up. We are exploring ways to provide this mid-July performance experience for our students and families while still keeping everyone healthy and safe which is of paramount importance to us. Options include such precautions as bringing just one class at a time into the auditorium, limiting the number of family/friends per dancer, spaced seating to allow for social distancing, etc. If by mid-July it is not possible to structure the recital in a way that maintains a safe environment for our families and also meets all state guidelines in place at that time, this July recital date will not change. We will instead present an alternative recital experience, possibly directly from West Chester Academy and/or virtually.
Since our 2019-20 dance academic calendar for the instructional classes runs from August 2019 through July 2020, this will enable us to still present our recital within the current academic year.
The new recital date also gives us more time for reopening to occur, a greater possibility of in person classes being held prior to the recital, and a greater likelihood of our dancers having their moment to shine in person-on the stage and in costume!
If I don’t have my costume yet, how will I get it?
We had purchased and received most of our recital costumes prior to all of the costume companies also shutting down and delivery of our remaining costumes being put on hold. We have recently been notified that costume companies are starting to reopen, and we are expecting to get our remaining shipments in the near future. When those costumes arrive, we will likely schedule a “curb-side” pick up to distribute all costumes that have not yet been given out to dancers.
Do you know when in person classes will resume?
Classes will continue to meet in the ZOOM platform until we are given the green light to meet in person. We are busy developing protocols for the resumption of classes in the Academy, reviewing directives from the governor and recommendations from the CDC. When the time comes, we will be ready. Please stay tuned as we carefully work through all of these details.
When can I register for 2020-21 academic year classes?
The start of the 2020-21 WCA academic year is scheduled to begin August 3, 2020. Recommendations for class placement for the 2020-21 year will be sent out toward the end of June, and registration for new classes will take place starting July 1.
From the bottom of our hearts, our sincerest thanks!
We are so thankful for and proud of our entire dance community. We feel truly blessed to have such GREAT families and kids that we serve. We appreciate each and every one of you and your support for our programs. If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We remain hopeful and encouraged by our public officials as they are beginning to address our future ability to get out and about, little by little restoring our normal activity. We will wait for more details as they become available, and will make decisions accordingly regarding our programs. While we do not yet know what is possible, we are still seeking to reimagine things like our recitals, competitions, festivals, and more. Here’s what we DO know:
We THANK YOU for your ongoing support for our teachers and our students as we seek to continue to be an anchor of familiarity and community at this time.
We are excited to announce our FREE “Cabin Fever Busters” for our current music students at West Chester Academy. As a bonus to our musical community, we’re offering all currently enrolled WCA students FREE access to bonus classes ranging from toddler music classes, to guitar clinics, drum circles, and more to help beat afternoon boredom. The content is provided by music teachers from affiliated Music Academies around the country, including ours. It’s easy to participate, simply join the “Cabin Fever Busters” secret and closed Facebook group here and find a class today: Cabin Fever Busters
Our annual 100 day practice challenge, that began in January for music students, is coming to an end. This pledge challenges students to practice their instrument 100 days in a row. Please let us know if your child has completed the challenge by sending us a picture of your student with their 100 day practice challenge chart completed. We love to see those bright, smiling faces feeling proud of a job well done! We will keep a list of students who have completed the challenge to ensure they receive proper acknowledgement and also get their trophies when we return in person. Great job to those who have practiced 100 days in a row, that is quite the accomplishment, and we are so proud of you!
Music Performance Evaluation Program (MPEP/PEP) provides a standard for students, parents and teachers to measure progress, gives students a goal to work toward, allows for detailed feedback and constructive comments from an adjudicator, and promotes well rounded musical training. PEP was originally scheduled for the first weekend in May, but has now been postponed. The registration deadline has been extended as well so students are able to continue to register for PEP. As for when and where PEP will take place, that remains to be determined. Students who are participating in PEP should continue to practice! Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available and talk with your teacher if you are interested in getting registered or if you have any questions regarding PEP!
We trust that this finds all of our young gymnasts well, though we imagine everyone is a little stir crazy. Our decisions continue to evolve based on the changing Covid-19 situation. Please stay tuned for an update the week of April 27, 2020, as we will have more detailed information to give to our gym parents!
Depending on the the timing of CDC recommendations, our recitals will likely move to alternate dates from those scheduled and/or be in a different format from what we have done over the years. However, we are sincerely committed to giving our students a special recital experience. We are calling these performance experiences "Recitals Reimagined"! As to what, when, and where they will be...we need to watch how things play out with the Covid-19 situation before making final decisions. We are currently exploring avenues of how to put together something special for the students at a time that is appropriate and safe. We hope to be able to tie down plans in early May. Please stay tuned.
We hope you and your family are staying safe, healthy and active during this time away from WCA! We miss all of our gym students dearly and we cannot wait for the day we can meet face to face again! Just as a reminder: our gymnastics classes are set to resume the week of May 4th. We are staying up to date on all State & Federal mandates and will be following all guidelines set forth. Please watch for emails from us with any updates we might have as we get closer to May.
We also wanted to share with you that West Chester Academy has created “WCA’s Virtual Academy” as a bonus to help keep students active and engaged, which is extra important at this time! We are providing materials on this website to help alleviate the cabin fever your family may be experiencing, and to help you find ways to further explore the activities your kids love. Visit this site frequently as it will be updated regularly with exciting new content! You can click on each tab at the top of the site for awesome content just for your child! Check out the videos from Coach Olivia & Coach Cameron for some at home gymnastics activities for the preschool classes and school aged classes!. Gymnastics Videos
We are SO encouraged by your overwhelming support and enthusiasm as we launched our online classes this past week. The joy it brought us to be able to still connect with our students and teach through the ZOOM platform is indescribable. We wanted to reach out with a few thoughts as we continue classes this week.
1. Just for fun, we will announce a different THEME for each week that we are having classes online. For the week of April 6-12, 2020, the theme is: Crazy Hair Week. Everyone, don your craziest hair do!
2. We will be launching “Storytime with WCA Teachers” each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Ms. Stacie will kick it off this Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11 a.m. with 2 books which she has specially chosen for her book reading debut. To join us each week with Storytime, please use the following link.
3. We have enabled a “Waiting Room” in our ZOOM classes as an added safety measure. This means that when you click to join, you will have to wait until the teacher allows you in to the class. This feature allows teachers to control who joins, thereby avoiding any unwanted participants. With this change, we will ask students use a name that the teacher will recognize. If multiple siblings use the same device to log in, perhaps the family name could be used, as in “Jones family.” If you know there are 2 of the same name in a class, please use first name and last initial as in “Emily D”.
4. And, finally, going forward, please locate the same link(s) that you used last week to attend your classes and lessons. If you can’t find your links, or you never saw your email invitation in the first place, please let us know, and we will be happy to get it to you. Since we are not physically in the office, just text us at 513-829-2345 or email email@example.com.
Given the latest updates regarding the Coronavirus and our current stay at home order issued by the state, we wanted to provide you with some information about our Music Pups® classes. Music Pups® is going online! You will now be able to take your same great music class with your same great teachers in the comfort and safety of your own home. We will continue to run classes this way until we can safely return to meeting face to face (hopefully before this 10 week session concludes).
As you know, in person classes were originally scheduled to begin this week. Out of an abundance of caution, and using the information we had at the time, we pushed our start date back to the week of April 19th. Now that we are able to meet online, we will continue with the schedule as planned. Classes will begin the week of April 19th. To accommodate shorter attention spans with this new way of meeting, classes will be 30 minutes long.
See below for some Q & A
How will we be billed?
As you know, Music Pups® runs in 10 week sessions spread out over 3 months. For your convenience, we divide the payment for the class into 3 equal monthly installments. There will be no interruption to your billing at this time.
What if I have multiple children?
In a typical Music Pups® classroom, each child in attendance would be billed individually. With our new online platform, all of your children are free to attend for the price of one child. If you have a Music Pups® alum, we'd love to see them join their younger sibling in their online class as well!
We don’t have all of the instruments at home. What should we use?
This is your time to get creative! Rattles are now egg shakers, wooden spoons are now rhythm sticks, bottle caps are now jingle bells, a blanket is now a stretchy band. Grab a stuffed animal and have them join in the fun.
Here’s a website with some creative ideas on instrument making: Instrument Craft Ideas
Additionally, you could always grab an instrument kit from Amazon: Sample Rhythm Kit (Note: the purchase of instruments is not necessary) Bonus: Grab some bubbles for our free dance time!
How will we get our music?
All music will be sent electronically for this session. Your email on file will receive a link with a code attached to be able to listen to the Elephant Collection through the Music Pups® app.
When will my class meet?
-Students registered for Wednesday will meet at 10 am on Wednesday mornings.
-Students registered for Thursday will meet at 10 am on Thursday mornings.
-Students registered for Friday will meet at 10 am on Friday mornings.
-All students registered in a Saturday class, regardless of the time, will meet Saturday mornings at 10 am.
We will continue with this schedule until we can meet in person at our physical location once again.
What do I need to do to prepare for our online class?
We will be meeting online via a platform called Zoom. Most of us are probably familiar with this platform by now. It would be helpful to download the Zoom app before getting started. You can go to the app store on your specific device and search for “Zoom.” You can also visit zoom.us to get started. Here is a helpful document to get you prepared: WCA Live ZOOM Classes" The day before your class, you’ll receive an email with the link to click to attend your interactive live Music Pups® class.
We know life hasn’t been easy in these uncertain times, but we sincerely hope that giving your child their regularly scheduled music class will bring them joy and normalcy in this not-so-normal time. I know our teachers miss their students and very much look forward to “seeing” their smiling faces very soon.
Jenna Schwenk, WCA Music Pups® Director
West Chester Academy will transition to the ZOOM platform starting the week of March 30 due to the Covid-19 situation. All private and group classes (except gymnastics and aerial silks) will be held at the students’ regular class times unless otherwise notified. ZOOM is a free video conferencing app that works on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Please download the free Zoom app here before your first class. We are so excited to get to see all of our students’ smiling faces again as we launch into the LIVE, interactive world of ZOOM classes!
Students will be receiving emails this week, one day before each class they take, with a link to join their teacher at the scheduled time. Watch for that email and SAVE IT so you can use the same link each week until we are back together in person at West Chester Academy. If you take multiple classes, you will receive a separate link for each class. Links may be copied and pasted to forward to a different email address or to text to your child in case there is a different device that you prefer your child to use for ZOOM. Alternatively, you can download the ZOOM app to any device, click on the “Join a Meeting” button, and manually enter the Meeting ID that is listed below your link at the bottom of the email.
Please plan to click on the link you receive just a few minutes before your class time. You may see a message that the host (your teacher) has not joined yet. Be patient; he or she might be finishing up another class. When your instructor does join at the start of the class, you will both be able to see and hear each other, and proceed with your class.
You will notice that we have scheduled ZOOM classes all the way through until our summer break at the end of June. With such uncertainty right now, this schedule simply sets us up for online classes for the coming months if needed. Of course, we will return to in house classes as soon as we are safely able!
We are thankful for a platform that allows us to continue to serve our students and keep the academy going. We thank you for your continued support. Your uninterrupted enrollment as we navigate through this “distance learning” time allows us to keep our valued teachers employed.
As a bonus to our students, we have placed on our website a variety of extra resources to engage your children and to help beat the cabin fever. Please be sure to check out those resources and check back frequently as we will be adding more fun things periodically. Enjoy!
We trust that the regularly scheduled classes will bring a much needed break in the monotony of being isolated at home and that the students will been thrilled to see their teachers. Children NEED normalcy and access to the things that bring them JOY and PASSION now more than ever. We are committed to making that possible!
For any questions or support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 513-829-2345. Since we are out of the building with the current Stay At Home restrictions, we do not have access to our phones or voicemail.
First we want to say thank you for your tremendous support during this time. Many of you have reached out by way of email and phone calls to express that support. As small business owners, we are honored and blessed by your continued dedication to our mission to provide your child with invaluable life skills through the arts. It ensures that we can continue doing the work we do both now and when things return to normal — which they will! As we have had time to process and pray, we are at peace (and even excited!) about our plans to launch WCA online beginning the week of March 30. Our faculty and staff are busy working out the logistics of the new online format. Our goal is to provide a great learning experience for as many of our students as possible even though it will look different starting next week. We are in uncharted waters, which is requiring a new level of flexibility like never before on the part of everyone!
Now more than ever we feel it is important for your child to have normalcy and routine. The last thing we all want is for our children to play video games and watch television shows and movies all day. Learning and growing and having interaction with others are basic human needs, and this is exactly what we'll be providing during the temporary closure of our physical location.
The plan is to keep most lessons and classes (except gymnastics for now) on their regular weekly schedule as much as possible. We will be in touch with our valued gymnastics students as we determine the next steps for them. Students will receive an email invitation to join their lessons or classes on the Zoom platform along with a link the day before their regularly scheduled lessons. Students may join in the class with a smart phone, iPad, tablet, laptop, or computer. The first time a Zoom invitation is clicked, users will be prompted to load the Zoom app. Everyone will be emailed detailed instructions with their class invitations. Don’t worry if you haven’t ever experienced a Zoom class, it is easy! Please make sure you check your spam if you don’t see the email from us!
A variety of our affiliated studios around the world have already launched virtual classes this week to RAVE reviews! Parents have been grateful for the break in the monotony of being isolated at home and the kids have been thrilled to see their teachers and friends again.
Regarding Recitals & Competitions
Stay tuned for updates regarding scheduled recitals, events, and competitions. We remain hopeful that we will be able to have these events that are still several weeks away as they are such an important part of the learning experience.
This promise is to you, your children, the amazing West Chester Academy staff of 60 plus, and the community: West Chester Academy will weather this storm and stay strong. To stay strong means to retain our amazing teachers and support staff. At the moment, we are doing our best to keep as many working as possible while still servicing the mortgage, utilities, debt and insurance payments. Your continued support through this will help our cause significantly!
With hearts of humble gratitude,
Patsy and Paul
As a valued member of our WCA family, we wanted to reach out again regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our community and families. In our ongoing efforts to respond responsibly and practically to this crisis, we will remain closed for the week following our Spring Break. There will be no private lessons the week of March 23rd- March 29th.
Our make up lesson plan for missed lessons during this additional closed week is to schedule regular private lessons AND group classes during our May Group Week, May 18th-24th. During regular Group Weeks, students do not have their regular private lesson, and instead come only for a Group Class. Therefore, adding a private lesson during group week allows us to make up this missed lesson next week. As a reminder, there are no private lessons scheduled during WCA break weeks, including Spring Break this week.
We can’t wait for everything to get back to normal and we get to see all of your smiling faces each week. Until that time, we are all in this together. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to navigate these unchartered circumstances. We will continue to stay abreast of the guidelines given by state and local agencies and update you with any new details. Please watch for an email from us next week when we will be able to inform you of the plans for the week following. As always, please know that the safety and well being of our students, teachers, and staff are our highest priority.
As a valued member of our WCA family, we wanted to reach out again regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our community and families. In our ongoing efforts to respond responsibly and practically to this crisis, and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the state of Ohio, we have decided to postpone all Gymnastics Classes and Private Gym lessons until further notice.
We are freezing all Gymnastics tuition for the month of April, and you WILL NOT BE BILLED YOUR APRIL 2020 TUITION for any Gymnastics classes. We will continue to monitor this situation, but at this time, we will assume that gymnastics classes will resume the week of May 4, 2020.
We are committed to our entire WCA family- students, teachers, and staff and we value each and every one of you. We ask that you stay enrolled in classes with the knowledge that we are all in this together. With each decision that we make, we are trying to balance the needs of everyone. We can’t wait for everything to go back to normal and the time when we get to see all the wonderful faces of your children.
Additionally, we want you to know that as soon as we are able to return to our normal class schedule, we will be offering our unlimited gymnastics classes that is usually exclusively offered in the summer months! Your gymnastics student will be able to take advantage of attending multiple age and skill level appropriate classes each week. Also, any gymnastics students that remain enrolled going forward will be able to take advantage of our Gymnastics-Dance crossover program! Beginning the week of June 8th gymnastics students will have the unique opportunity to take unlimited dance classes that are age and skill level appropriate!
Our best gymnastics advice through this crazy time: stay active and get outside to exercise when you can! Later this week you can expect to receive a special video from one of our gym coaches that will include some fun and safe activities to do at home!
And finally, although we will truly miss seeing all of your smiling faces, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our WCA family. We share your concerns and appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to navigate these uncharted waters. Please know that the safety and well being of our students, teachers, and staff are our highest priority as we move forward. One thing we DO know is that this too shall pass. Things will go back to normal and until that time we are in this together. We are here for you as we know you are here for us!
As a valued member of our WCA family, we wanted to reach out again regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our community and families. In our ongoing efforts to respond responsibly and practically to this crisis, we will remain closed for the week following our Spring Break. There will be no classes or lessons the week of March 23rd-March 29th. Next week you can expect to receive a special video from your MYC instructor that will provide lesson highlights and special pointers, as well as your homework assignment!
We wanted to let you know that our teachers and staff are preparing to provide remote classes starting the week of March 30. This is uncharted territory for us, but we are busy working out the logistics of an online platform so that we may provide as much consistency as possible for our students that are stuck at home probably going stir crazy. We also value our teachers as much as we do and want to keep them working through this difficult time.
Although we will truly miss seeing all of your smiling faces, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our WCA family. We share your concerns and appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to navigate these unchartered circumstances. Please know that the safety and well being of our students, teachers, and staff are our highest priority as we move forward.
Thank you for joining us for the Bunny Collection the past 10 weeks! Typically this is the part where we tell you we’re off for the next 2 weeks and will then resume again with the Elephant Collection. However, times are rapidly changing and we are trying to remain cautious about our current health situation moving forward. We have made the decision to move the start date for the next collection back 3 weeks, meaning we will take a 5 week break and begin again the week of April 20. You will still receive all 10 weeks of the collection. As always, you are automatically enrolled into the next collection unless you have notified us by week 10 of the current collection that you are no longer able to participate. If you are receiving this email, it is because you are enrolled in the next collection.
If you previously chose to receive the Music Pups™ materials via their app, you will continue to receive it in the same way. If prefer to switch from receiving a physical book and CD to receiving it electronically instead, we would need to know by no later than March 31, 2020. At that point, no changes would be able to be processed for the current collection.
We are very aware that our current situation can change at any moment, and we are prepared to change our start date should we need to. I want to assure you that the health and safety of our Music Pups™ students is of the highest priority. In addition to the many sanitary precautions we already take, we have been and will continue to sanitize every single instrument in our facility after each class regardless of whether or not they were used. We look forward to the day we can see everyone face to face and enjoy making music together again!
As a valued member of our WCA family, we wanted to reach out again regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our community and families. In our ongoing efforts to respond responsibly and practically to this crisis, we will remain closed for the week following our Spring Break. There will be no classes or private lessons the week of March 23rd-March 29th.
We also wanted to share a few updated scheduling notes. At this time our Dance Parent- Participation weeks scheduled for the weeks of March 23 and March 30 are CANCELLED. We will communicate all information that was to be shared during these classes at a later date. You can also visit our website: westchesteracademy.com to find information about the June recital as it becomes available!
Additionally, we wanted to let you know that our teachers and staff are preparing to provide remote classes starting the week of March 30. This is uncharted territory for us, but we are busy working out the logistics of an online platform so that we may provide as much consistency as possible for our students that are stuck at home probably going stir crazy. We also value our teachers so much as we know you do and want to keep them working through this difficult time.
Be on the look out for an email next week that will give instructions for how your child will be able to easily “meet” with their teacher and classmates at home and continue to enjoy their dance classes.
We can’t wait for everything to get back to normal and we get to see all of your smiling faces each week. Until that time, we are all in this together. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to navigate these unchartered circumstances. We will continue to stay abreast of the guidelines given by state and local agencies and update you with any new details. As always, please know that the safety and well being of our students, teachers, and staff are our highest priority.
Although we will truly miss seeing all of your smiling faces, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our WCA family–students, teachers, and staff. As we move forward, please continue to check your email and/or our website for communication regarding schedule updates. We share your concerns and appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to navigate these uncharted circumstances. Please know that the safety and well being of our students, teachers, and staff are our highest priority as we move forward.
In response to recent public health concerns in our area, we want you to know:
Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22 WCA is closed for Spring Break. We will use this time to do a deep cleaning of all of our classrooms, lobbies, bathrooms, etc.
We are confident that these extra precautions will keep WCA clean and safe for our staff & families. As we continue to move forward into uncharted territory, we are paying close attention to the recommendations the CDC has put in place as well as state and local government agencies.
Thank you for being a part of our WCA family and helping our community stay healthy!